Of course, this will be the only chance to witness veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford in NFL like competition while facing another team before the season starts. This was never going to be about showing trick plays, giving some razzle-dazzle, or even a lot of play designs. At best, this was about putting some vanilla offensive plays into a contest and seeing how the players handled themselves against some unfamiliar but motivated competition.
Let’s cut right two it. Stafford appeared to be a man among boys out there. He clearly was not playing fully competitive football, but he was solid as hell. His ability to survey the field, flip the wrist and the football was suddenly in the hands of the receiver was pretty impressive. He connected early to a good touchdown to Van Jefferson. While he seemed to need to find the range for WR DeSean Jackson, he did hit a deep 60 yard TD pass after a couple of failed attempts. Stafford to Kupp and Stafford to Woods seems to be synched up already. Like seriously connecting. The Rams offense appears to have a much higher ceiling this year.
We’ve talked about the best ways to make use of running back Darrell Henderson. I’m not convinced that I like him over the middle or between the tackles. But get him outside as either a pass receiver or rusher and he becomes so very dangerous. In the play below, Henderson gets great blocks from teammates Cooper Kupp, Johnny Mundt, and a tremendous effort by right tackle Tremayne Anchrum to lead the way. Henderson is a master of attacking a defense’s perimeter.
The Rams saw some action from Tutu Atwell, Trishton Jackson, Van Jefferson at wide receiver. And the running backs that were used included both Xavier Jones and Jake Funk. I don’t know if there was enough evidence to reshuffle any offensive depth charts just yet, but the evidence is mounting and that is leading to the conclusion that the decisions will be harder than first imagined.